Stain Removal Smarts, Why You Can’t Get Rid of Tough Stains

By June 15, 2016Cleaning Tips

Stain Removal Tips

Have you ever wondered why some stains wipe off easily while others take ten times as long to scrub away, if you can remove them at all?  It may be that you aren’t using the right product for the job.  If you are using all purpose cleaner in every room, you aren’t cleaning efficiently.  An all purpose cleaner such as Simple Green or Mr. Clean will be no match for hard water deposits in your bathroom, or for cutting through grease in an oven.  Let’s take a look at why that is.

Kaboom cleaning products being used on a shower

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An all purpose cleaner is usually composed of a few different chemicals to make it moderately effective at every type of cleaning.  The most common ingredients are water, a surfactant, a chelating agent, and builders.  Together these ingredients allow the water to “stick” to the grime that you are cleaning so you can rinse it away.  That is great for the light soiling that can be found in your living areas, but it won’t even begin to help in the kitchen or bathroom.

chemistry behind eco friendly cleaning products

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So what do you do if all purpose cleaner isn’t cutting it?  Here are some common types of soiling and what you can use to take care of them

  • Kitchen grease: Degreaser, then a scrubbing agent likeBarkeepers Friend, baking soda, or Magic Erasers.
  • Soap scum: Acidic bathroom cleaner, then a scrubbing agent like Barkeepers Friend, baking soda, or Magic Erasers.
  • Mineral deposits: Acidic bathroom cleaner.
  • Mildew: 90/10 mixture of water and bleach.
  • Light soiling: All purpose cleaner.

If you’re having problems removing stains, it’s likely that you just aren’t using the right product for the job.  A good arsenal would be an all purpose cleaner, a tough degreaser for the kitchen, an acidic bathroom cleaner, a scrubbing helper like Barkeepers Friend, baking soda, or Magic Erasers, and lastly some bleach to kill mold and mildew.  With these products, you should be able to tackle any job in your home.

PRO TIP: you can use acidic toilet bowl cleaner (pictured below) to clean pretty much any surface in a bathroom (EXCEPT MARBLE, definitely DO NOT use any acidic products on marble!).  It usually contains all of the same stuff as all purpose cleaner, but also includes some strong acids to remove mineral deposits and soap scum.

lysol toilet cleaner

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